Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata recently talked about the possibility of his next project being an open-world game, and also talked about inspirations from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in a recent interview with Gamespot.
Here are some highlights on the Final Fantasy XV director’s take on making an open-world game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and working on the PC release:
Gamespot: Not including the MMO titles, this is easily one of the larger single-player oriented entries in the series. What would you say was the largest lesson you learned from making a game of this scale?
Hajime Tabata: The biggest takeaway we got from creating an open-world Final Fantasy game is that we understand why the big western developers that make these massive open world games require that much manpower. For FFXV, we made a lot of progress from a technological standpoint. We were able to push the boundaries, but we also streamlined our internal process to keep up with that pace. Looking back, there’s still a lot to look back on, what we were lacking experience in, and what we didn’t have the knowledge for. But there was still a lot that we were able to see and were aware of to make good progress on. When it comes time to work on our next project–taking everything we did–we’re gonna do it even bigger and better, when that time comes.
So are you and the development team on XV planning on pursuing this style of open-world game for your next project?
Hajime Tabata: It’s hard to say at this point if the entire game is gonna be based on an open world. But I would say that the overall experience that users get from playing in a massive area, that overall game experience is something that we’re gonna make sure is in the next project as well.
Well, another Japanese developer came out with a rather notable open-world game this year with Breath of the Wild, which many fans have enjoyed. Have you all gotten the chance to play it, and if so, did anything stick out for you?
Hajime Tabata: So I personally haven’t been able to get my hands on a Switch yet because they’re really hard to find in Japan right now. [Laughs] It’s embarrassing to say. I do have the game; I bought the game already so that I could just pop it in when I do get a Switch. But I’ve heard a lot from the dev team and their reactions to having played it. But just from hearing the stories and the feedback, you know, we can tell that it’s a really complete game. It’s very polished, almost a perfect game in that regard. And our goals are probably to take that experience that players felt with Breath of the Wild, but with our own technology and our own knowhow. We have in our disposal to create a very, very high-quality game with a strong visual element to it, while creating a world that’s really immersive and really beautiful. That’s probably our goals in terms of what we want to be with our next project.
We actually got the chance to check out the PC version of XV, and it’s quite an improvement over the original in terms of visuals. We’re actually seeing more developers in Japan take on PC releases for their games to solid success. What’s impressed you with working on the PC release, and is this something you hope more developers in Japan will dive into?
Hajime Tabata: With the Windows Edition, the platform is already beyond what we did for the console version. Even our in-house engineering with the Luminous Engine has moved up a step in development. So we’re at the next level in terms of our environmental creations. That’s a little bit of a showcase of what we’re capable of, but it’s still something that we’re still continuously working on. We’ve incorporated a lot of improved technologies for physics simulations and made it more natural and realistic. So we’ve tried to kind of elevate our game in a sense.
Obviously, we couldn’t do a simultaneous release for console and PC for FFXV, as we were focused on getting the console version right first. So it’s hard to say if that’s gonna be a trend for more Japanese games in the future.
We saw with Nier: Automata, they released the Steam version pretty much alongside the console version. We saw that they had a massive reaction from their Steam user fanbase. So as a trend, moving forward, we think that means publishers and developers are gonna put focus on the PC and make sure that that’s part of their overall strategy. We’ve made some great strides with the PC release of FFXV. From technical standpoint, to run the Windows Edition at a native 4K and 60 frames per second requires a beefy system. We understand that, there’s certain things that PC gamers hold a lot of value for, like turning up all the graphics options to run the game how you want. But being able to experience this in 60 frames per second, it is really a genuinely rich experience.
Read the full interview here.
Final Fantasy XV is available on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The Windows Edition releases in early 2018 for PC.